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Neuroinflammation as potential precursor of leukoencephalopathy in early-stage breast cancer patients: A cross-sectional PET-MRI study.

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

BACKGROUND: Although chemotherapy-induced leukoencephalopathy has been described in case and cohort studies, literature remains inconclusive about its prevalence and mechanisms. Therefore, we investigated the presence of leukoencephalopathy after multiagent chemotherapy in women treated for breast cancer and potential underlying neuroinflammatory processes. METHODS: In this exploratory study, 15 chemotherapy-treated and 15 age-matched chemotherapy-naïve patients with early-stage breast cancer, as well as 15 healthy controls underwent simultaneous PET-MR neuroimaging, including T1-weighted MPRAGE, T2-weighted FLAIR and dynamic PET with the 18-kDA translocator protein (TSPO) radioligand [18F]DPA-714. Total and regional (juxtacortical, periventricular, deep white matter and infratentorial) lesion burden were compared between the groups with one-way ANOVA. With paired t-tests, [18F]DPA-714 volume of distribution [VT, including partial volume correction (PVC)] in lesioned and normal appearing white matter (NAWM) were compared within subjects, to investigate inflammation. Finally, two general linear models were used to examine the predictive values of neurofilament light-chain (NfL) serum levels on (1) total lesion burden or (2) PVC [18F]DPA-714 VT of lesions showing elevated inflammation. RESULTS: No significant differences were found in total or localized lesion burden. However, significantly higher (20-45%) TSPO uptake was observed in juxtacortical lesions (p ≤ 0.008, t ≥ 3.90) compared to NAWM in both cancer groups, but only persisted for chemotherapy-treated patients after PVC (p = 0.005, t = 4.30). NfL serum levels were not associated with total lesion volume or tracer uptake in juxtacortical lesions. CONCLUSION: This multimodal neuroimaging study suggests that neuroinflammatory processes could be involved in the development of juxtacortical, but not periventricular or deep white matter, leukoencephalopathy shortly after chemotherapy for early-stage breast cancer.
Journal: The Breast
ISSN: 0960-9776
Volume: 62
Pages: 61 - 68
Publication year:2022